Russ Wise named president of Friends of St. John the Baptist Parish Library

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

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LAPLACE — Russ Wise of LaPlace will lead as president of this important non-profit organization. Friends of the Library is an all-volunteer organization that advocates for and raises funds to support libraries as they grow. Wise is a retired broadcast journalist who began his career at the age of 14 in West Virginia. He moved to the New Orleans area when recruited by WGSO AM Talk radio and began contributing to ABC and National Public Radio in 1984.

He was a member of the St. John School Board for nearly 20 years, and served as president of the Louisiana School Boards Association. He’s also familiar to thousands of River Parishes families for appearing as Santa Claus at schools, daycares, hospitals, and nursing homes, and helping raise money for civic groups and local animal shelters.

Wise said, “I am excited to work with our library system and its director, Andrea Tullos. They have been extremely important to our community during this past year of change, and I hope we can create a strong group of volunteers to support its many programs and increased activity.”

The Friends currently sponsor an ongoing sale of gently used books donated to the library. These and other fundraisers allow the library to expand programming, provide prizes for Summer Reading and sponsor special events. Wise hopes to launch a special new event each April in coordination with National Library Week.

The Library is looking forward to working with the newly formed Board. Tullos said, “A strong Friends group is paramount to supporting an ever evolving and engaged community.”   Those interested in volunteering with the Friends, can pick up a brochure in the library or contact the library at 985-652-6857 or